Hoover was hit around for 10 runs (nine earned) on eight hits and four walks with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings to begin the season. It’s a small sample size for sure, but the right-hander is striking out batters at a much lower rate than usual and is walking batters at what would be a career-high rate. Hoover has also thrown 83 fastballs and on average, his velocity this year is down more than 1 MPH.
Tony Cingrani and Blake Wood, who each struggled during Wednesday afternoon’s win against the Rockies, are likely to see some ninth-inning work.
The Royals and Rangers played the first game of spring training today. A few other teams (the Red Sox, Tigers and Twins) played or are currently playing college squads, but Kansas City-Texas is our first matchup of big league teams. Baseball’s back, baby! And you know what baseball means?
Kansas City’s Jorge Soler, who hit 48 homers last year to lead the American League, offered us the year’s first glimpse at recreational baseball murder when he took Kolby Allard out over the left field yard.